On the 31st May 2017, Rangers confirmed the signing of Portugal international Bruno Alves on a two-year deal on a free transfer as Pedro Caixinha dipped into the transfer market ahead of his dismal season with the club.
The 35-year-old was brought into the Rangers squad in order to try and stop Celtic from winning another title but it became quite apparent that not only were the Gers not going to be able to compete with Rodgers’ side but also that Alves was going to be a terrible signing.
The experienced defender struggled with injuries over the season and had his contract terminated by the club just over a year after joining as Steven Gerrard joined the club…
Welcome to the GLASGOW RANGERS Family Bruno…
— peter (@petersoulboy65) May 31, 2017
People can say what they want about him, they all hated playing against him. Good with his feet & he won't be beat in the air, still has it
— J Silva (@JSilvs28) May 31, 2017
R.I.P whole Celtic squad
— Batuhan Öke (@batuhanoke) June 1, 2017
here to break skulls and lift trophies
— Ronnie O'Sullifan (@_RocketFan147) May 31, 2017
— Anshul1872 (@AnshulS342) May 31, 2017
Although Alves has had a prestigious international career and made 96 appearances for Portugal, it’s safe to say that Rangers fans got a bit carried away when he joined the club last year.
The former Porto man did have a good season with Cagliari the season before but to sign a defender who was well into the twilight of his career, was always going to be a risky move for Rangers. He did get into Portugal’s 2016 European Championship winning squad but was only a squad player who had no real influence on the team.
Alves was the subject of a £22 million transfer from Porto to Zenit St Petersburg back in 2010 but after a spell at Fenerbahce the Portugal international was well past his best. While he may have been able to handle the physical battles in Scotland, Alves struggled against quick and mobile strikers and he looked well out of his depth and not the man the club thought they were signing.
However, Alves wasn’t given the best of situations when he joined the club as he struggled with a knee injury but never had a reliable partner next to him with Ross McCrorie, David Bates and Danny Wilson all taking turns to partner him in defence. Moreover, with Pedro Caixinha leaving so early into the season, it was only a sign of things to come for the club and a situation that someone like Bruno Alves was never going to thrive in.
The Gers finished 12 points off league winners Celtic but in truth, they were never going to compete with Celtic’s large budget. Rangers may have lauded Alves’ arrival but they were probably also happy to see him leave too.
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